Review: The Reformation Handbook
This book is a history of the 16th century Reformation in Europe. First published in 1882, it was written for teenagers so the text is easy to read.
Mr. Lindsay’s thesis is that the Reformation was “a revival in religion animated by the yearning to get near to God”. Yet he also shows how the political climate shaped events. The author comes across first as a historian and second as a Christian. He is not afraid to identify some shortcomings and failures in the reformers as well as occasional virtues to those who opposed them.
The chapters on the English reformation are fascinating and, in particular, his explanation of why the Church of England founded by Elizabeth I was reformed in doctrine but largely unreformed in ritual.
The best chapters are at the end of the book where Mr. Lindsay looks at the spiritual principles of the Reformation. At this point the book moves from being a history book to one that shows the debt we owe to the men of God who lead the Reformation.
My only criticism is that the Anabaptists are hardly mentioned and then only negatively.
Overall, this is a very useful book that gives a good introduction to the subject.
This review was first published on GoodBookReviews.org.uk. The site has been closed as of March 2019.
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